Fethiye, the city with the hard to spell name… At least for me it is very hard to type the three vowels in a row, without having the h slip somewhere in between to break them up.
We arrived in the late afternoon and knew we would be leaving the next morning on a boat trip. Way to soon as it turns out, there is a lot to do in the area surrounding Fethiye and we didn’t really have the time for any of it.
While there is a lot to see and explore in the surroundings of Fethiye, the town itself is not as exciting. It has a very nice and large market, one for fake-whatever-you-need and one for food and supplies. The food market was lovely, I really enjoy seeing traditional markets with a huge quantity of colourful vegetables and fruits on display. In this case, it had an additional fish market and directly next to the the fish market there was a chain of restaurants which would prepare the fish you just bought.
We got swept up by a chatty waiter, who told us everything about his always positive tripadvisor ratings and lonely planet recommendations. Without internet there was little chance for us to confirm his claims, but he certainly knew all the right buzz words for today’s backpacker clientele. Disregarding his supposed internet fame, the restaurant was a tiny, family-run enterprise with a bunch of tables spread in the fruit-market. It had a nice vibe, so we sat down.
The next morning we learned that our boat was delayed and we weren’t supposed to board until 3pm. We had visited the markets and walked the town already, so we were looking for something else to do. We happened to have seen some old graves sitting in the mountains atop Fethiye and we decided to check them out. As it turns out, we had really already seen all that could be seen. The graves consist of a huge door, behind which a very tiny cave has been dug to put the person to rest. The bigger the door, the more important the person behind it.
Over the next few days we would see these type of graves a number of times, in more or less accessible parts of the islands. Always dug directly into the mountain, usually high above the water and commonly in groups of two to five.
In the afternoon we boarded the ship for a 3-day tour. Here is where it gets difficult: The cruise was totally not what we expected. It had been described as a sailing trip out on the open sea, what we got was a fake sailing boat with no sails but a motor and we never left the bay. To a point it was boring and monotone: We would drive ten minutes, make a break for a swim, drive ten minutes, stop for lunch, drive ten minutes, stop for a swim, drive ten minutes and make fast for the night. Along with 70 other boats.
The boat operator wasn’t really to blame for this. What I saw in their flyer mirrored quite closely what we got. The travel agency which sold us the trip had advertised it wrongly. During the trip, the captain and crew of the boat were really trying to make the best out of it. For one, we had some of the best food in all of Turkey on that trip, secondly the captain did pick more isolated spots after we complained about how crowded the first few stops were. As always company is everything, we got to know some very nice and interesting people on the trip, which made it totally worthwhile.